The FBI has arrested Harold Thomas Martin III, a contractor at the National Security Agency, for stealing “highly classified information,” according to a Department of Justice statement released on Wednesday.
News of an arrest was first reported by the New York Times, which wrote on Wednesday that an unnamed contractor “stole and disclosed highly classified computer codes developed to hack into the networks of foreign governments.” Martin was an employee of Booz Allen Hamilton, the consulting firm that also employed Edward Snowden while he was pilfering classified information from the NSA in 2013.
It’s not clear if the arrest and the alleged theft of code are linked to an incident in August when a hacking group called Shadow Brokers released a batch of what it said were NSA hacking tools designed to breach computer networks and firewalls. Cybersecurity experts said the tools were likely genuine but outdated. The group has tried to sell the tools for as much as $611 million but complained over the weekend that no buyers were interested.
The DOJ’s statement said Martin’s arrest took place at his home in Glen Burnie, Maryland, at the end of August, and that searches of Martin’s house and property turned up “six classified documents obtained from sensitive intelligence and produced by a government agency in 2014,” as well as other classified documents and more that $1,000 in government property. Martin faces up to one year in prison for taking the classified documents and up to 10 years for theft of government property.